Difference Between Lupus and Fibromyalgia

Chronic and incurable diseases have largely increased in number over the past few decades. Some of such diseases are so mysterious that accurately identifying the root of the problem becomes challenging. Two such diseases are lupus and fibromyalgia. Although the two share some similarities, they can be differentiated by various factors.

Lupus vs Fibromyalgia

The main difference between lupus and fibromyalgia is that lupus is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease whereas fibromyalgia is neither inflammatory nor autoimmune. Additionally, the symptoms of lupus are internal whereas the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be seen on the body. Even though the two diseases affect almost all of the body parts, their causes largely differ.

Lupus vs Fibromyalgia

Lupus, medically known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which one’s immune system starts attacking the tissues and organs of the body. Lupus causes inflammation and can affect almost any and every part of the body. There are treatments available for this condition, but this condition can’t be fully cured.

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body. It can even lead to disability and indirectly low life quality. Furthermore, people with Fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain in unaffected areas of the body as well. This phenomenon is known as abnormal pain perception processing. It is a chronic condition.

Comparison Table Between Lupus and Fibromyalgia

Parameters of ComparisonLupus Fibromyalgia
DefinitionIt is an autoimmune disease.It is a neurological disorder.
TypeInflammatory and autoimmune.Neither inflammatory nor autoimmune.
SymptomsMostly internal.Mostly external.
CausesEnvironment, genetics, gender, etc.PTSD, genetics, stress, etc.
ComplicationsIt further results in physical abnormalities.It further results in mental abnormalities.

What is Lupus?

Lupus, medically known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a disease in which one’s immune system starts attacking the tissues and organs of the body. Lupus causes inflammation and can affect almost any and every part of the body. There are treatments available for this condition, but this condition can’t be fully cured. Since the disease is a complex condition, it is often called “a disease of 1,000 faces”.

Since this condition is autoimmune, the immune system is unable to distinguish between unwanted substances and healthy tissues. As a result, the antibodies fight every new development. This results in various symptoms including fatigue, weight loss, swelling, fever, and headaches, etc. As the symptoms vary for every individual, diagnosing the condition is also difficult and so is the treatment. There is no cure for lupus, but the treatment aims to prevent organ failure.

Till now, the root cause of Lupus is not clear. Nevertheless, researchers have identified a combination of possible causing factors following previous cases. Some of these possible causes include smoky surroundings, genetics, abnormal hormone levels, infections, and long-term use of some medications. Furthermore, certain groups are possibly at a higher risk of developing lupus including women, certain ethnic groups, and people less than 44 years of age.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body. It can even lead to disability and indirectly low life quality. Furthermore, people with Fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain in unaffected areas of the body as well. This phenomenon is known as abnormal pain perception processing. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition and just like Lupus, there is no promising cure for it.

According to medical research, the pain appears to result from processes in the central nervous system or central sensitization syndrome. The condition is often considered a neurobiological disorder due to abnormalities in how pain signals are processed in the central nervous system of the patient.

The major symptom of this disease is chronic widespread pain throughout the body, fatigue, sleep disturbance, muscle spasms, and vision problems, etc. Furthermore, mental disorders such as anxiety, and depression also follow along as fibromyalgia indirectly leads to low quality of life.

Till now, the cause of fibromyalgia is unclear. Nevertheless, it has been largely caused by genetic factors. It seems to run in families. Additionally, it can also be a result of emotional or physical abuse, PTSD, etc. This condition is twice as common in women as in men. It can also affect children but is mostly in adults.

Main Differences Between Lupus and Fibromyalgia

  1. Lupus is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease whereas fibromyalgia is neither inflammatory nor autoimmune.
  2. Lupus is a life-threatening condition as it can lead to organ failure whereas fibromyalgia is rarely life-threatening.
  3. The symptoms of lupus are internal whereas the symptoms of fibromyalgia are mostly external.
  4. Lupus leads to more physical diseases whereas fibromyalgia leads to mental conditions and disorders.
  5. Lupus isn’t known to affect young children whereas fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages.

Conclusion

Lupus and Fibromyalgia are two chronic diseases that have always been mysterious in the medical field. Since the cause of them is not certain, it is simply not possible to proceed with unpractised ideas. Due to this, there is no direct cure available for either of them. The available treatments aim to control the symptoms only.

When we talk about lupus, it is considered life-threatening as the disease directly targets the internal organs of the body, and organ failure is what the treatment aims to provide safety from. Not only that, but the patient also needs to take medicines for the regular symptoms that come with it including regular fever, headaches, fatigue, and weight loss, etc.

On the other hand, fibromyalgia is not autoimmune like lupus. The major symptom of it is widespread pain throughout the body. Even though it doesn’t seem as complicated, it largely degrades the quality of life. Thus, it is known to lead to mental sickness as well.

Since there is no cure available for such diseases, it is important to get diagnosed at the first sign. Not only diagnosis, taking precautions such as exercising, eating healthy foods, having adequate sleep, prioritizing mental health, etc., also becomes crucial.

References

  1. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/0715/p247
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